Yesterday bespren Roovin tied the knot. I was his bestman. I stood right next to him at the altar as his beautiful bride, dramatically silhouetted by sunlight beaming through the cathedral’s open door, walked down the long aisle to his waiting (and trembling?) arms. We had the same view of the breathtaking image in white gracefully walking towards us, but without doubt our thoughts and feelings were worlds apart: In a few moments, I would simply take my seat on the front pew, while Roovin would kneel before God and make a lifelong commitment of love and fidelity to Maela.
It was my first time to be bestman. I felt a little awkard, unsure of what was expected of me. Not quite familiar with Catholic matrimonial proceedings, I flipped through the liturgical program for help. To my relief, it contained instructions for the wedding participants which were being read aloud by the commentator as the ceremony unfolded. So I simply watched out for when my name appeared.
Dadalhin ni John Miguel Florendo ang mga singsing sa altar…
(John Miguel Florendo will bring the rings to the altar…)
Luluhod si Roovin at Maela…
(Roovin and Maela kneel…)
Hihinto sa pagpaypay sa sarili ang Pangunahing Abay na Lalaki na parang kasal niya ito…
(The bestman will stop fanning himself nervously as though this were his wedding…)
Okay, that last one wasn’t in the program. It did specify that I assist in the contract-signing towards the end. That was easy.
At the reception, I operated the projector and cued the audio-visual presentations. I also took it upon myself to start clinking the glass every opportunity I got to elicit a kiss from the couple. Of course, Roovin happily obliged each time, with a naughty twinkle in his eyes 😉 I sang two songs: Roovin’s all-time favorite love song, “How Did You Know” (popularized by Gary Valenciano, but Roovin has loved it ever since Chiqui Pineda’s original take) and Josh Groban’s “You Raise Me Up.” For this average singer, both songs were re-arranged (read: simplified) and transposed to lower registers by the talented cousin of the bride. There were a couple of miscues and missteps in my rendition, which I tried to offset with humorous banter. The audience, thankfully, was kind and generous so I didn’t really feel like a complete loser. Hehe. I gave the ceremonial toast after singing Groban’s song, wishing the newlyweds well as they embark on the journey of being “a cord of three strands” with God as the third.
The wedding is over, but I know the duties of the bestman have just begun. I shall continue to pray that Roovin and Maela would continue to seek God with all their hearts and find in Him a greater love that will bind them for a lifetime. Mabuhay ang bagong kasal!